Abraham Isaacs Op Den Graeff

M, (1651 - 25 March 1731)
     Abraham Isaacs Op Den Graeff was born in 1651 at Krefeld, Duchy of Kleve, Rheinland. He was the son of Isaac Hermans Op Den Graeff and Greietjen Pieters. Abraham Isaacs Op Den Graeff married Trijntje Jansen, daughter of Hendericjck Jansen and Jenneken [—?—], on Sunday, 23 July 1679 at Krefeld, Duchy of Kleve, Rheinland. Abraham Isaacs Op Den Graeff died on 25 March 1731 at age 80 years. He was buried in the Mennonite Cemetery, located in Skippack, Perk Township, Philadelphia County, Province of Pennsylvania, America.
     Abraham was the youngest of the three brothers who came from Krefeld on the ship Concord. He and his brothers paid for 2,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania from Jacob Telner (who had an original land grant for the land from William Penn that was dated Mar. 9, 1682) while still in Europe: 828 acres of this land was located in what is now Germantown, six miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Abraham owned the forth lot on the west side of the road as one traveled north through Germantown. The Eastern State Penitentiary now stands on part of the original tract at Craterford, Pennsylvania.

     Abraham and his brothers transferred their weaving industry to Germantown and were largely responsible for making it famous and it was claimed that Abraham was the most skilled of all Germantown's 'High German People and Low Dutch' whose trade in weaving linen cloth is much. Abraham won a Governor's prize of 1500 Lire for the first and finest piece of linen woven in the State of Pennsylvania.

     There is much dispute concerning the religious complexion of the original thirteen families, whether they were Mennonites or Quakers? It is felt that they were Mennonites, but shortly after their settlement in America Abraham became a member of the Quakers or also known as 'The Religious Society of Friends.'

     In 1688 Abraham was one of the four signers of the anti-slavery petition. Then in 1689 he was one of eleven men to whom Penn granted a charter for Germantown, where he is called 'Abraham Isaacs Op de Graef' and in that charter he was one of the six men appointed to serve as the first 'committeemen.' He served as town burgess in 1692 and was a member of the colonial assembly in 1689, 1690 and 1692, but in this last year, the controversy kindled among the Quakers by George Keith began, Abraham and his brother Herman supported Keith, while their brother Derick sided with the conservative Quakers. After this Abraham went back to the Mennonites. Abraham deeded 50 acres on Jan. 4, 1690 to Jacob Schumacher for Lot #8, Allot. of 1689, who conveyed it to the Germantown Friends for their first meeting house in 1693. Reference - PA Archives, Vol. 6, page 135.

     Abraham's last years were marked by difficulties with civil government. The fence-overseers condemned his fences in 1696 as insufficient. His son Jacob 'borrowed' a neighbor's horse without permission in 1701 and was fined a half-crown, while Abraham was condemned to pay the costs of the legal action involved. He quarreled with the sheriff about these costs and two years later 'did mightily abuse the Bailiff in open court' and was fined L2 10 shillings. In 1704 he was sued by a neighbor for money due on purchased goods and after a court action had the debt arbitrated. That same year, an old Krefeld neighbor and fellow pilgrim, Veit or David Scherkes, declared that 'no honest man would be in Abraham's company' for which Abraham sued him for slander, but David was acquitted.

     Abraham and his wife sold their brick house and 828 acres of land in Germantown about May 16, 1704 and moved to the neighboring Perkiomen area (now in Montgomery Co., PA) where he laid out the remaining 1200 acres on the Perkiomen Creek and died there.

     Abraham sold 50 acres in 1709 to Joseph Shippen (Ref: Pennsylvania Archives Vol. 5, page 252). In 1709 he conveyed 300 acres on the Perkiomen to his daughter Margaret and her husband Thomas Howe on the condition that they should take care of him until his death. Abraham died seized of 530 acres of the original 2,000 acres that he and his brothers had bought from Jacob Telner.

     After Abraham's death on Mar. 27, 1731, by deed recorded in Philadelphia Book C, No 2, Vol. III, page 95 - Isaac Updegraff (son), weaver and his wife Mary, sold 132.5 acres being 1/4 of the remaining 530 acres that was originally laid out by Abraham and which this deed recites was acquired by Quadripartite partition, bearing the date of Mar. 20, 1731, made between the said Jacob Up de Graeff of the first part, Thomas Howe and Margaret his wife of the second part, Herman In de Hofen and Anne his wife of the third part and the said Isaac Op de Graef of the forth part, did divide the said 530 acres into four equal parts. In another part of this same deed or agreement, it states that after Abraham died, the 530 acres descended to his children and names them - Isaac, Jacob and Margery wife of Thomas Howe and Anne, wife of Herman In de Hofen. This now gives us the names of his four children, but he also had a daughter Gertien who married Richard Addams and some say another daughter Elizabeth - why aren't they included in this division of Abraham's land?1

Children of Abraham Isaacs Op Den Graeff and Trijntje Jansen

Last Edited=6 Nov 2007


  1. [S15] June (Shaull) Lutz, History of the Op Den Graef / Updegraff Family (Grand Rapids, Michigan; 1433 Elderwood Ct. N.W.: J. S. Lutz, 1988).